Hard Landing (outside) narrowly beat Baaqyah (Image: Racing Photos)
Juvenile Hard Landing might not win any beauty contests but he is in the running for some of the country's best two-year-old races after winning the Group 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate on debut at Flemington on Thursday.
A son of All Too Hard and the G1 winner Snitzerland, Hard Landing led in a Lindsay Park quinella when he nosed out Baaqyah. It was the second juvenile win for the stable over the Carnival following the debut win of Aryaaf in last Tuesday's Darley Ottawa Stakes.
WATCH: Hard Landing's win
For co-trainer David Hayes, the win broke something of a drought in the race as his most recent of his three winners in the event, Husson Lightning, came in 2006.
Hayes said Hard Landing was not the most attractive horse as a yearling but was quickly growing up.
"He was a great-bodied horse but had a very plain head but he's starting to grow into his head," Hayes said.
"He'll have a break and come back and run in a (Blue Diamond) Prelude and then into a Blue Diamond and for the filly (Baaqyah), we'll probably back off her (and) do something similar as she's by I Am Invincible and she's a ready-made two-year-old."
Ridden by Luke Nolen, Hard Landing ($8.50) had a half-head margin over Baaqyah ($21), with two lengths to the fast-finishing Tagaloa ($6) in third place.
WATCH: Hear from Hayes